With the fresh, green bitterness of fenugreek balanced by the nuttiness of roasted dals, chilies and coriander seed, and the fragrant aroma of basmati, Fenugreek Rice is a healthy meal in one needing accompaniments of only yoghurt, papad, and pickles.
- 2 cups cooked rice/ leftover rice
- 1 tablespoon urad dal (skinned black gram) Click here to buy
- 1 tablespoon channa dal (split Bengal gram) Click here to buy
- ½ tablespoon whole coriander seeds
- 2 dry red chilies
- 8-10 curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds (optional)
- a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
- 1 bunch fenugreek leaves removed and chopped (about 200-250 grams)
- 1 teaspoon salt – divided (or to taste)
- 2 tablespoons ghee or oil (if you are vegan)
- Roast urad dal, channa dal, coriander seeds, red chili, and 8-10 curry leaves on a skillet until coriander seeds are lightly browned and fragrant. Dry grind in a grinder or food processor.
- Heat ghee or oil in a wok or deep frying pan on medium heat. Add mustard, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida, and dried red chili and stir for half a minute.
- When the mustard starts to sizzle and pop, add fenugreek leaves. Stir and allow to fry for 4 minutes until they are wilted and cooked.
- Add ground spices and ½ a teaspoon salt to the pan and mix well for about 1-2 minutes.
- Add rice and remaining salt and stir and cook until rice is heated through. Check seasonings. Serve with yoghurt and pappadoms.
Recipe Credits: Going through my oily, stained old recipe cards, I found my mother-in-law, Anila Mariwala’s recipe for methi (fenugreek) rice. I miss her often, and this was always one of my favourites that she made when I first got married. With every bite, I remember fondly the graceful, elegant, warm, and humorous lady, who tried in every way to make me feel like a daughter in my new home in Bombay.
Fenugreek has a unique bitter taste and is of course critical to the dish. If you don’t have the dals, don’t panic! You can substitute roasted chickpeas (the kind you get to snack on). Remove the outer skin of the roasted chickpea first, and substitute a handful for the dals. Dry curry leaves can be substituted for fresh ones, and they do add significant flavour. But even without them, as long as you are roasting coriander, dal, or chickpeas and chilies, it should be adequate. Maybe people aren’t fond of the smell of asafoetida, given the second part of its name, it does have a strong odour. Skipping it won’t be very noticeable.